"He's a winner, he's a Celtic man"; former Bhoys midfielder on Roy Keane

By Euan Davidson

March 17, 2021

Former Bhoys midfielder Stephen Pearson reckons Roy Keane would be a popular Celtic choice.

Pearson, who played for Celtic between 2004 and 2007, worked with Keane during the Irishman’s sole campaign in Glasgow. While the former Manchester United man’s debut is forever in Hoops ignominy [BBC], his spell ended with a League and League Cup double.

Pearson says there are hidden advantages to a Roy Keane appointment. Speaking to Mark Wilson and Simon Donnelly on the Celtic Huddle Podcast, Pearson said:

“He was only there for six months but just the way he came into the place and he had an aura about him. [Keane] was obviously toward the end of his career at that point. I think he had mellowed slightly.

“That was him more relaxed than what he had been. But I thought he was top class with the way he carried himself, the ability he had, the way he delved into working with the younger players like myself at the time.

“With regards to an appointment, it would probably be a very popular appointment with a lot of Celtic supporters. His record as a player, he’s a winner, he’s a Celtic man, so he would tick a lot of the boxes.

“Whether the club feel like they want to go down that route is another question the board will have to answer, but certainly from a supporters perspective it would be a popular choice I would say.”

Yes, fine: Roy Keane is a popular man / (Photo by Alan Peebles/Getty Images)

Stephen Pearson has expertise, but ‘Roy Keane, Celtic manager’ is still an unappealing prospect for many supporters

There’s no doubting Pearson has first-hand knowledge of Roy Keane from his time at Celtic. It’d be daft to question that, from a writer’s perspective.

However, that was 2006, and since then, Roy Keane has embarked on two managerial spells. One at Sunderland, where he got the Black Cats promoted. The other was at Ipswich Town, where he was sacked after 20 months in charge [BBC]. That was after 7 losses in 9 games. Over a decade ago.

How Roy Keane still gets linked to jobs is obvious; he’s a big character, and he’s always on the TV. Additionally, he’s taken in equally underwhelming spells as an assistant manager to Martin O’Neill. And he’s Irish. Did you know this? Well, there you go. All boxes ticked.

Certainly, he would be a popular choice with some. However, he’s “old school” in the sense that he tries to shout players into winning. We’re aiming for Champions League qualification; yelling alone against increasingly complex tactical set-ups on the continent just won’t do.

Maybe Keane has hidden depths, but should Celtic be the club to find out?

READ MORE: How the Glasgow Derby could be won – a tactical plan.